Work with your child to establish a regular time and place for them to study.

Belfast - Homework is a valuable way of reinforcing the lessons your child has learnt in school. To make sure that they get the most out of the time they spend completing their work, you should sit with them and make sure that if they are struggling there is help at hand.

Here are a few ways to help you help your child.

* Establish a routine

Starting on your child's first day at school, establish a routine for homework. Set aside some time each day to look at the work they have and how you can help them if needed.

* Schedule a time and place for learning

Work with your child to establish a regular time and place for them to study. Even if they do not have homework, they could honour that time by reading or reviewing work.

As children get older, they should be encouraged to work with you to set their own schedule each week. This will help them gain time management skills. Remember to praise their success.

* Discuss your child's homework

Make it a regular practice to review your child's homework every day. This will help you monitor their progress and will let them know how important their education is to you.

Use this time to ask questions about what they are learning. Rather than simply checking to see if the work is done, talk with them about interesting aspects of what they are learning. Learning should be exciting.

* Help without doing the work

There will be times when every child will need help with their homework. Remember that all you can do is help. This means that, even if you know the answer, your job is to assist your child in discovering the answer on their own.

This can be done with a few basic steps such as listening to your child as they explain the work they have been set and the aspects they do not understand as well as identifying what is known.

Keep in mind that, although you might find the work easy, your child is struggling. Therefore, attempting to reassure them by saying the task is easy may not be effective. Rather, help them gain control over the task by asking them to identify what they already know.

* Find and use new ways to solve the problem

Be careful not to do the work for them. The purpose of homework is to identify what a student knows. If you do the work, they will not learn.

Ask leading questions that allow them to identify the resources which can help them complete their work.

You might also ask them to brainstorm solutions. In these ways you are helping them learn to learn.

* Work with your child's teacher and school

Most schools have homework policies. Take time to learn the policy as the more you know about what is expected of your child, the more you will be able to reinforce the message.

Meet with your child's teacher early in the year and let the teacher know that you both share the goal and the task of helping your child learn. - Belfast Telegraph